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Setting up potential clash, Supreme Court to hear petitions on Reasonableness Law in September

Thousands of anti-overhaul activists seen near the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, after marching towards Jerusalem as part of the protests against the government's judicial overhaul, July 22, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem will reportedly study petitions against the recently passed Reasonableness Standard Bill in September, a controversial law passed on Monday that severely restricts the judiciary’s ability to review government decisions.

The court did reject a request to put an injunction on the law until the set hearing.

This law represents the first bill passed as part of the government's judicial reform package, spearheaded by Justice Minister Yariv Levin.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel (MQG) warned that Israeli democracy is threatened by the Netanyahu government’s legal reforms. 

“This amendment represents the opening notes of the closing chapter of democracy in Israel, no less,” the organization warned in its official filing. “The court is perhaps the last redoubt standing before the collapse of the democratic regime in the State of Israel,” it added. 

Many critics in Israel and abroad fear that the reasonableness law is merely the beginning of the current coalition's ambition to dramatically reshape Israel’s legal landscape and undermine an independent judiciary. 

However, Eliad Shraga, head of the MQG, vowed to continue fighting against what he calls a “judicial coup.” 

“We are ready. We will appear at the Supreme Court to defend Israeli democracy and do everything we can to stop the judicial coup,” said Shraga. “We will continue to protest and fight everywhere and on every stage until the threat is removed,” he added. 

A number of coalition lawmakers including some Likud members recently submitted a bill designed to split up and limit the powers of the attorney general. However, Netanyahu’s Likud party distanced itself from the bill, calling it a “private” initiative. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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